Adding Reliable USB Ports To a MacBook Retina

November 25th, 2014 No Comments »

We all have figured out that the two built in USB 3 ports on our Macbook Retina’s are quite inadequate.  If we could add a USB hub to the system that actually worked it would not be a problem.  My experience is that almost anything I try to add to my USB Hub does not work and from what I read on the forums, I’m not alone.  It cost me about $150 on amazon but now I’ve got 3 more super reliable USB ports thanks to the addition of this belkin docking stations.

 

My setup is as follows:

  • Macbook Retina (when docked)
  • Thunderbolt #1 –> Belkin Thunderbolt –>  Lacie Hard Drive –> Monitor #1 (1280×1024)
  • Thunderbolt #2 –> Monitor #2 (2560×1600)
  • HDMI –> Asus 4K Monitor

From The Belkin Thunderbolt Dock

  • USB Poscaster Microphone
  • Jabra PRO Headset
  • Gig Ethernet (built in)
  • Lowcost USB Host –> Mouse and Keyboard

Tale of Woe Trying to get New Windows 8 RC working with VMWare Fusion

June 2nd, 2012 No Comments »

Hot off the presses, the new windows 8 RC has arrived and I immediately want to move to it (the early adopter that I am).

Problems Problems Problems

First, I would like to acknowledge that it does basically work. I loaded successfully SqlServer 2008 R2, new new Microsoft Visual Studio 2012, Quickbooks 2010 and a bunch of other software with no issues (Snagit does not work yet sadly so it’s snippit again).

Where it failed me was in multi-monitor support.  The previous Windows 8 consumer preview worked great with multiple monitors.  I’ve got two displayport monitors running off the Thunderbolt port and previously (with the February release of Windows 8 consumer) when I ran windows in Vmware Fusion 4.1.2 I would get two screens of windows.  Now, I only get one.  Previously, I could swipe left and right and switch between two screens of MAC and two screens of OSX.  Now, swipe does not do anything.

Hopefully a solution will come, but for me, it’s back to the February release.

Getting That Second Non-Thunderbolt Monitor to Work on your MacBook Pro

April 8th, 2012 25 Comments »

The Problem

So, you know you want a second monitor on your MacBook Pro, you already have the beautiful 27” Thunderbolt monitor working, but when you daisy chain from that first Thunderbolt monitor to your own DisplayPort monitor it does not work (or at least very well).  In my case, it would come up 1 out of 10 times correctly, and the other times, it would come up in some kind of funky power saving mode. So, since I’m pretty new to the apple world, I decided to call for Mac Support team and explain my dilemma.  I got a very nice person who did some research and came back and told me that a Thunderbolt port is not meant to work with DisplayPort, just other Thunderbolt ports.  This means I can buy another 27” $1000 Thunderbolt monitor from apple, but my HDMI $150 monitor with the $10 DisplayPort to HDMI adapter will just not work.  Here is the article she sent me to: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4744?viewlocale=en_US There is a huge thread about this issue already in the apple forums that you can read here titled “ThunderBolt + External Monitor = Mounds of Who”. https://discussions.apple.com/message/13180670#13180670

A Solution

While I was at a local Apple Store yesterday, I noticed they had a new Seagate adapter call the GoFlex Desk Thunderbolt Adapter that had two DisplayPort Connectors on it.  Someplace in the above thread I think I read that if you put a device between your real ThunderBolt monitor and your DisplayPort monitor that things will work as expected.  So, I put down my $189 for this  GoFlex adapter and it worked!!!

It’s hard to find online, but it was at the store. I now have two monitors working on my desktop with this cool little device, and when I purchase a Seagate GoFlex drive, I’ll be able to  have fast external storage as well.  Very cool

Other Points

I’m guessing any ThunderBolt device with two ports will do the job.  This one just seemed like it was almost affortable so I bought it.  BTW, don’t forget the $50 cable (like I did).  This dock does not come with anything but a power cord.